“Taking joy in living is a women’s best cosmetic.”

                                                                                         Rosalind Russell

While Rosalind’s words ring true, a trip to the spa doesn’t hurt either.  There is nothing like a warm robe and blackhead free face to perk me up.  A trip to the spa is self-indulgence at it’s best.  Being a thrifty and (usually) practical girl, dropping a couple hundred bucks for an hour or two of pampering can feel irresponsible.  What’s ironic is that it feels irresponsible only upon arrival.  Upon my light-headed exit I am convinced that the ritual is a practical necessity and will become weekly rather than bi-annual.

Whether once a year or once a week, if you are headed towards self-indulgent luxury, keep these etiquette rules in mind:

Arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment time.  The time you’ve booked does not account for the changing of clothes, orientation, etc.  Don’t eat up your precious treatment time with preparation tasks.  If you are running late, make a courtesy call to the spa and give them a head’s up.

Leave your jewels and valuables at home.  While no one would have had the audacity to lift one of Rosie’s baubles, thieves can lurk about at spas as well as anywhere else.  Don’t leave temptations.  Most treatments will leave rings, bracelets, necklaces and other adornments coated in product.  Leave them at home along with your iPad and Louis Vuitton purse.

Turn off your phone!!!!

No fragrances, please.

Dress Code:  This is not a fashion show.  Wear comfortable (but not sloppy!) clothes.  This is also time to mind your behind (aka: Don’t prance about in your birthday suit).  Much akin to locker room behavior, some semblance of modesty is appreciated by all.

Beware of the TALKER:  On occasion, I’ve become the unwilling victim and personal therapist of my technician.  While I can appreciate the need to solicit another woman’s opinion on all matters of fashion or relationship skirmishes, it can zap the Zen-like experience like nothing else.  Should you discover that your technician is a chatterbox, it is perfectly acceptable to politely explain you were looking forward to a quiet hour of personal self-meditation.  Sometimes all it takes to quell the verbal purging is your silence.  If he or she does not comply with your polite request, make mention of it upon checkout.

Use your inside voice:  If your BFF or wedding party accompanies you, it can be hard to limit the shared urge to squeal with comparative delight.  Keep the decibel level down out of respect of the other patrons.

Beware of the up-sale:  Yes, you will be encouraged to purchase the $100 eye cream just used on your puffy peepers.  You will be encouraged to splurge on additional treatments not included in your standard service package.  These up-sells can be extraordinarily hard to resist and occasionally hard to identify.  My very first facial experience resulted in a cash outlay of $300 for a $75 treatment.  As I lay in my drunken like stupor with Yanni hypnotically playing in the background, I recall hearing the “hmmmmm’s” and “ohhhhh’s” of the technicians discovery.  Clearly, the condition of my face warranted immediate exfoliation, hydro-moisture packs and a Myotonology Micro-Current face lift.  I was worth it after all, right?  Right.  Keep your wits about you girlie!  Unless you can afford the added cost of such add-on’s, thank her for her attentive care of your derma and politely decline of the offer.

Tipping:  15-20% of the total cost of your treatment is standard.  Make sure you read the fine print on your bill, however.  Occasionally, gratuity is included in the final tally.

Go on and delight in your gorgeousness!

K. Martini